US plans to step up more sanctions against Russia
WASHINGTON, Sept 14, 2018 (MENA) - US lawmakers Thursday kept up their push for President Donald Trump administration to push back harder against Russia’s “nefarious activities,” even as top economic officials pledged to take a hard line on Moscow’s election meddling and the poisoning of its own citizens in Britain, France 24 reported.
Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh reiterated to a congressional hearing that Washington would adhere to its August pledge to impose “very severe” sanctions on Russia if it does not meet a November deadline to comply with international chemical weapons law.
“We are looking at this November deadline as absolutely, we plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions under the (chemical and biological weapons law),” Singh told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Washington said on Aug. 8 that it would impose sanctions on Russia after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.
However, Singh noted Russia would not be subject to sanctions if it meets conditions including allowing inspections and providing a “verifiable” assurance that they will not use nerve agents against their own people again.
“They have not done so, so far,” she said.
The Russian ruble firmed to a one-week high against the dollar on Thursday, but its gains narrowed after Singh’s remarks. The currency was last at 68.49 against the dollar.
The House hearing was the latest in a series, as lawmakers, including his fellow Republicans, kept up pressure on President Donald Trump to push back harder against Russian meddling in US elections, aggression in Ukraine and involvement in the civil war in Syria.